Beauden Barrett Israel Folau: Australia rugby star sacked over homophobic comments raises lawsuit to £7.4m

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Sacked Australia rugby player Israel Folau has raised his demands for compensation to £7.4m after he was sacked over a catalogue of homophobic and offensive comments in May.

Folau is suing Rugby Australia after he was stripped of his $4m contract due to a social media post claiming “hell awaits” gay people, paraphrasing a Bible passage saying “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators” would go to hell unless they repent. He has since said that he has “absolutely” no regrets over the posts.

Folau argues that the termination of his contract – the first of its kind in Australia – is a case of religious discrimination and he has now added potential lost earnings and sponsorship deals to his amended claim filed on Wednesday. He argues that Australia would have achieved a “superior performance” at the Rugby World Cup, where they were knocked out by England in the quarter-finals, had he been included in the squad. 

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Folau had originally sought around £5.3m and his return to the Australia side. The case will be heard in the Federal Circuit Court next February. 

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